The manufacturers of the London black cab – “Hackney Carriage” has unveiled the new, electric design of the car in its final production form, which will hit the London’s roads in November 2017. The company also planning to sell these new-age cabs to pollution-prone cities across the world.
Since 1948, the London Taxi Company is selling iconic “black cab”. It is an automotive engineering company headquartered in Coventry, United Kingdom, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese automaker Geely. It was founded in 1899 and its principal activity is the design, development, and production of taxicabs.
The firm will also rebrand itself as the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) to export the new model – TX5 electric hybrid, which has a range of 70 miles off a battery before switching to a petrol engine for up to 400 miles. The TX5 will be made at a new facility in Ansty, 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Coventry.
“They [diesel cabs] will disappear, this is the way forward. [But] that won’t be as immediate as people think,” – Chris Gubbey, CEO of London Taxi Company
The company is targeting 150 TX cabs on the London’s streets by the year’s end after the first deliveries begin in November 2017.
The current model as of 2006 is the TX4. It is powered by a VM R 425 DOHC diesel engine and features many refinements and enhancements.
All taxis licensed in London must comply with the Conditions of Fitness, originally written in 1906 and which are managed by the Public Carriage Office (PCO). Formerly a civilian branch of the Metropolitan Police Service, the PCO is now part of Transport for London.
Over 130,000 London black cabs have been produced at the London Taxi Company’s Coventry site over the past 60 years. Annual production averaged between 2,000 and 2,500 units per year. Around two-thirds of production goes into London via a dealership in Islington. The remainder goes mainly to the larger cities in the UK that have adopted the Conditions of Fitness. Outside these cities, the market for taxis is dominated by multi-purpose vehicles that have been converted to make them wheelchair-accessible in line with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Under Transport for London (TfL) rules, all new black cabs from January 1, 2018, will need to be electric, or capable of producing zero emissions. Combined with an age limit for the cabs of 15 years, that means the last diesel ones should disappear from the streets of London by 2032.
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